.303 Brit Mark IV chargers


I assume the 4th hole in the one on the right was enlarged to give more “spring like” action to the end of the charger. How soon after Mark IV introduction was this modification made?


Even given that we were late adopting charger loading for our service rifle it’s surprising that it then took 24 years before we settled on the final pattern. The MkIV with the 4 round holes in each side was announced in the List of Changes ( LoC ) on October 20th, 1917 although the actual date of introduction might have been quite a long time earlier. In the middle of a war getting stuff into the hands of the soldiers was a priority, tidying up the paperwork followed along later.

It was found that the MkIV spring had too high a “rate” and that it took too much effort to load the rifle using it, using one I’ve found it’s the first and last cartridges that are the problem … getting the column of cartridges moving in the first place, then getting the last one out into the magazine. I’ve never seen an LoC introducing the modified charger, there probably wasn’t one as the change wasn’t thought significant enough to merit a new Mk number … the MkV was something entirely different and a mythical beast.

The only evidence of the change is the Sealed Pattern in the Leeds Pattern Room where the tag shows the date of approval as May 3rd, 1927;



Thanks, Peter,
I met Claus Matzen at a show. It seems you share the same passion. If you want to see him, here is a link East Coast Cartridge show,Linden,PA